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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2005 Honda Element from a private seller recently in San Diego. It was advertised as a four-wheel drive single owner no accidents with 55,000 miles. I guess it did seem too good to be true. I don't mean to play this card but I'm just single mom who doesn't know too much about cars and had always dreamed of owning an Element. Turns out the car is front-wheel drive and has 181,600 miles on it, had five owners and have been in a minor accident. The dude who sold me that car has disappeared into thin air. He lied straight to my face. The odometer reads 55,000 miles and now that I look more closely, I can see that he erased the last number of the odometer reading on the title. He even produced a manufactured Carfax report insisting that I didn't need to buy my own. I'm so embarrassed. I guess I'm just looking for some kind of support from a group like this with other Element enthusiast's to let me know that if the car was regularly maintained and I'm willing to take care of it I might get at least another 100K out of it. Someone wiser than me said to me recently you either pay with experience or money. I guess I feel like in this case I paid big & learned a lot. Sucks to say this but I guess you can't trust anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No Craigslist.
The ad, the Carfax report, the title, his personality.... It was super professional.
 

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2007 Element EX TRP
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Sorry for your experience - it really sucks to be taken by, what looked to be, a professional. Unfortunately, probably a "professional" CROOK. :mad: Having said that, and now being the owner, I HIGHLY recommend you take it to a trusted mechanic for a GOOD going over. Be ready for (potentially) a LOT of not-so-good news. At 181K, it would normally need wear out maintenance items - struts/shocks, rubber bushings, valve adjustment, tie rod ends, etc. Hopefully, with an accident in its past, they do not find un-repaired damage that will be/is an issue. Elements are great vehicles (original owner of my (now) 160K+ "Evster"), and, with good maintenance, can last for MANY years. Hopefully this experience, while it's a pain to go through/be a part of, highlights (for everyone!) the need to do your research - (your own) CARFAX, title search, etc. And, no matter who the seller (actually (yes, even family)) is - have the vehicle checked out!! Praying for good results from your inspection(s) as well as years of faithful service!! :)
Cheers!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I REALLY appreciate all the wonderful vibes on this forum!! I knew I was truly a Honda Element owner at heart! :love:
I have taken it to my trusted mechanic and he thinks it is still a good deal. Will need to replace the sway bar (??) but said it isn't urgent. I have smudged her, named her, Cairn and have made peace with it ;-)
 

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I bought a 2005 Honda Element from a private seller recently in San Diego. It was advertised as a four-wheel drive single owner no accidents with 55,000 miles. I guess it did seem too good to be true. I don't mean to play this card but I'm just single mom who doesn't know too much about cars and had always dreamed of owning an Element. Turns out the car is front-wheel drive and has 181,600 miles on it, had five owners and have been in a minor accident. The dude who sold me that car has disappeared into thin air. He lied straight to my face. The odometer reads 55,000 miles and now that I look more closely, I can see that he erased the last number of the odometer reading on the title. He even produced a manufactured Carfax report insisting that I didn't need to buy my own. I'm so embarrassed. I guess I'm just looking for some kind of support from a group like this with other Element enthusiast's to let me know that if the car was regularly maintained and I'm willing to take care of it I might get at least another 100K out of it. Someone wiser than me said to me recently you either pay with experience or money. I guess I feel like in this case I paid big & learned a lot. Sucks to say this but I guess you can't trust anyone.
Sorry to hear about your experience. I actually saw that ad when it was posted. It was a Blue Element correct? I had my nephew check out the car in person. The seller was very shady. I told my nephew to FaceTime me as he was looking at the car, and when my nephew was showing me the VIN, he told me to take a screenshot, which I did. I ran a carfax on it and sure enough, the mileage was over 180K miles even though the ad stated 55K miles. The guy is a professional con artist. When I saw the mileage, I told me nephew to get out of there asap. I did flag the post but I guess it didn’t do anything.

Now although you over paid, the car was definitely clean according to my nephew and that you could never tell that it had over 180K miles. He looked at the engine bay and underneath and didn’t see any oil leaks, which is good. He also said it drove great. So the silver lining in all of this is that you were able to purchase a clean Element that runs great.

Good luck with the Element!
 
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